Manufacturing is a highly competitive industry. The continuous need to outperform competitors is to such a great degree that it is imperative for manufacturing organizations to protect their intellectual property (IP) . Because if the security of their proprietary data is ever compromised, then their competitive advantage is jeopardized as well. And we’ve seen it happen too many times; compromised data leaves the potential for someone with malicious intent to cause harm, in terms of safety and financial risk.
Overall, manufacturers need to raise the bar when it comes to security and in order to reap the full benefits of Industry 4.0, business leaders must support their IT teams both culturally and financially to help them secure their networks. Let’s take a look at what this type top-level support entails.
What should manufacturers ask of their technology vendors?
As manufacturers engage in digital transformation, their internal IT teams need to form important partnerships with technology vendors. Before deciding which Industry 4.0 supplier to work with, it is vital for manufacturers to carry out rigorous checks of each vendor’s security credentials.
In order to protect critical production data, manufacturers should ensure technology vendors implement end-to-end encryption with strong encryption keys along the entire value chain. It is essential to check that a vendor’s encryption is up to the appropriate level of standards and spans from the cloud to edge computing. Bad actors can track the vulnerability of data throughout the network and low-bit encryption can be cracked easily.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices should also be segregated from the main network to ensure that data transmitted over IoT devices does not interfere with other traffic on the factory’s network. Larger networks are exposed to more vulnerabilities, so separating IoT devices guarantees that nothing on the wider network can interfere with the data collected on those devices.
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